I am often brought into organizations to speak about personal branding and I often get asked, “How do you bridge the gap between building a personal brand and the company’s culture so that you become a subject matter expert and advance your career?” I love this question because I can recall when I was an employee in Corporate America. Early in my career, I struggled to connect who I was innately to the job I was was performing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was good at my job and more importantly, I was a fast learner. You see, I was wet behind the ears and so eager to be seen by the powers that be as one who was ready, willing and able to do what it would take to advance my career. And, as a result, I struggled to find my voice, presence and leadership style. Today, we’d refer to that as a personal brand.
Everyone has a personal brand. Your brand is your intentional and strategic message, promise and experience created to serve others through your significance. In other words, it’s how you choose to show up each day in your position while illustrating your gifts, talents and confidence through your image, invocation and influence.
About a year and a half into my position, I had an epiphany. I realized that there was a way to lead authentically without selling out, burning out or stressing out to the demands of my career. I realized that I could be authentic to myself and help my company to achieve it’s goals and objectives. And I began to conduct an experiment. I began to chart a course in my career that felt good to me. I decided to not “kiss up”, put in “face time” or do anything else that wouldn’t feel authentic. The result, I was promoted consistently. In fact every 9 months for 3 years, I was recognized and promoted to a new level. Additionally, my performance appraisals confirmed that I had done the right thing – choosing to authentically align to my position because it made me perform better. I became a peak performer and I helped others create the same strides in their careers.
As a woman in business, it is often challenging to find your voice, presence and leadership style. Today, I am pleased to help women bridge the gap between their personal brands and their company’s culture so that they align authentically and advance their careers. Here are three essentials to bridging the gap between your personal brand and company culture.
1. Define your personal brand. Taking the time to complete a self assessment and answering a few short questions can help to give you direction about who you are at your core and how you want to show up for others in the world. Personal branding first and foremost helps you to find personal fulfillment. Personal branding also positions your differences to accelerate your career growth. When you are clear on your unique needs and how they translate into results for yourself and your organization, you become an asset. I recommend completing a SWOT Analysis on yourself and perhaps even a 360 will assist you in clearly defining your personal brand attributes.
2. Understand your company’s culture and key goals and how you can authentically align to them. When you are clear on your unique needs and how they position you within the company you work for, it allows you to authentically connect, build credibility and gain visibility.
3. Create your strategic plan. With clarity about your brand and your company’s goals, culture and objectives, you can determine the best course of action to stand out, get noticed and effectively lead your team (and company) to the next level.
To get guidance and support as you define your personal brand, consider coaching with Darnyelle via Your Corporate Incredible Factor. To learn more, complete a discovery session request form here.